It was the happiest day of Phillip Cho's life. Shortly after New Year's Day in 2005, he learned that he had acquired a fortune of $600 million — a windfall from his brother, who had won a settlement in a corporate espionage lawsuit, and who planned to give Cho access...
Just as organizations such as A/V Geeks and the Prelinger Archives have been busy digitizing Super-8 and 16mm home movies, instructional films, and other forms of celluloid ephemera, Everything Is Terrible (EIT) is dedicated to finding the most god-awful casualties of VHS and virtually every kind of media thereafter. Everything Is Festival is a series of public screenings showcasing some of the most mind-glowingly bad shit out there. This year's fun, five-day film fest, Everything Is Festival: The 5th Dimension, kicks off with EIT's very own Memory Hole, a visual assemblage of rejects from America's Funniest Home Videos, which offers a window into America during the last quarter-century. Ticketed presentations include the 1991 amusing atrocity Samurai Cop (with star Matt Hannon in person!) and the sophomore edition of The Most Outrageous Video Games. Other highlights: Barry Hansen aka Dr. Demento's favorite finds, as well as the Found Footage Battle Royale, a community invitational for anyone hankering to share their own funny and/or disturbing under-recognized gems. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Thu., Aug. 28 to Mon., Sept. 1 (various showtimes); opening night free. All other screenings $12/$15, members free. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.More
With more than 60 performances on offer in hip-hop, ballet, tap, modern, tribal, contemporary, jazz, belly and pole dancing, the Mix Match Dance Festival returns with its annual terpsichorean tasting menu of local dance troupes. Billed as L.A.'s largest dance festival, the Hart Pulse Dance Company–hosted event has some repetition in groups and dancers over its four days, but each of the four shows has a distinctive and different lineup. Friday's groups include Ashley L. Jones, Lexi Stillanos, Hazel Clarke, Kelela Batinga, Diane McNeal Hunt's Elevate, Merge Dance Theatre, Amaterasu Dance Company, Gabriela Hernandez Cardenas, J.J. Dance, Brooklyn Hughes Melton, Julianna LaRosa, Sara Kempa-Leon, OdDancity, Rosie Trump (With or Without Dance), Reach Dance Academy Burbank and the host company. Now in its eighth year, Mix Match Dance Festival is a weekend of shows offering an unmatched chance to measure the temperature of current SoCal dance. For the full lineup and tickets, go to hartpulsedance.com. Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Thu.-Sat., Aug. 28-30, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 31, 2 p.m.; $17. (661) 755-2182, brownpapertickets.com/event/239532.More
Game lovers will be gathering at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport over Labor Day weekend for Gateway 2014. Part of the Strategicon family of holiday weekend gaming events, this four-day convention features tournaments, demos and more, for board game lovers and card sharks alike. A full roster of events is planned every day right up until Monday afternoon, so check out strategicon.net for the schedule. For those who want to simply play with friends, head to the library. It's stocked with old favorites and more recent titles. Whether you're looking for something with zombies, Cthulhu or Dungeons & Dragons, there is something here you can take on loan for a few hours. Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 W. Century Blvd., Westchester; Fri., Aug. 29-Mon., Sept. 1; $60 weekend pass ($50 in advance), day pass $30 (Sat.-Sun.)/$15 (Fri., Mon.)., $5 kids under 12 with adult admission. strategicon.net.More
The Los Angeles Times kicks off its annual food festival, the Taste, on Labor Day weekend. The folks from that paper's Food section join local chefs for a weekend of discussions, cooking and cocktail demos, wine seminars — and actual food and drink. Among the many activities: cooking demos by Nancy Silverton, Jimmy Shaw, John Sedlar, Karen Hatfield and Casey Lane, among many others; a butchery demo by Amelia Posada; Russ Parsons chats with Thomas Keller; Jonathan Gold and Betty Hallock host a mixology demo; and a farmers market cooking panel with Roxana Jullapat, Jessica Koslow and Josiah Citrin. A weekend pass goes for $299; tickets for individual events run from $175 down to a kids' brunch for $5. Check out the website for details and to buy tickets. (LAT subscribers get a $25 discount.).More
fri 7/25 Dierks Bentley GREEK THEATRE For the better part of the past decade, Dierks Bentley has helped usher in a new era of country music. His catalog has spawned seven No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts and cemented his status as one of mainstream country's superstars...
Visual allure often isn't a virtue we value when chasing obscure flavors in L.A.'s international neighborhoods. In fact, adventurous diners tend to appreciate the opposite: The grungier the location, the more accomplished we feel for having sought it out. Looks be damned — let the fireworks happen on the flavor...
The Los Angeles art world has been saying a collective "hallelujah" since the arrival in January of Philippe Vergne as MOCA's new director. Although some East Coast commentators condemned the appointment — citing in particular a budget crisis scandal in which Vergne resorted to selling off a number of works...
If you know painter Joe Goode, who road-tripped to L.A. from Oklahoma in 1959 to make his go as an artist, you probably know his drawings of torn paper or paintings of blue skies. They're pretty nonchalant and usually modestly sized, so it's surprising to see how big and majestic the new paintings in his "Flat Screen Nature" show at Kohn Gallery are. They're two-tone expanses of color painted on sheets of fiberglass. Even though you could tumble right into those deep blues, Goode's still not taking himself too seriously. Every piece has weirdly ragged edges and the titles are jokes: Honk if You See Jesus for one with a ghostly shape near the bottom, or Coming Attraction for one that looks like a big-screen sunset. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; through Aug. 29. kohngallery.com.More
An enormous steel structure, like a giant birdcage by Escher, rises up from the grounds of Materials & Applications, an independent, progressive design studio off Silver Lake Boulevard. Architect Warren Techentin's installation, La Cage Aux Folles, presents nested helixes in a complex system of small lines and hyperbolic dimensional math, which occupies sculptural space and explores traditions of simple-shelter and decorative architecture — but it turns out it's also a stage. It opened in April with a series of performances that occupied and activated the space in ways linked to its name's semiotic origins: cage and folly, as in "inside and outside, captivity and protection, function and ornament, shape and line, stasis and dynamism." The installation remains open every day through Aug. 29, but this weekend, La Cage welcomes Matt Kivel to celebrate the release of his appropriately named and suitably experimental new album, Days of Being Wild. Known for his complex, subtly asymmetrical, lyrical style, Kivel's work rather echoes the spirit and form of the cage; his afternoon also features solo sets from Sophia Knapp and Kevin Morby (Woods, The Babies), plus beer by Craftsman Brewery. Materials & Applications, 1619 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; daily thru Aug. 29. (323) 739-4668, emanate.org.More
Weep at another whiff of an Elmore Leonard adaptation, one that nails down neither the peppery laughs nor the street-crime desperation that are key to the writer's work. Instead, the comedy is too broad to take the characters seriously, and the vibe is breezily aimless, a mistake in a story...
After The Princess Bride made Robin Wright a star, she shocked Hollywood by saying no. No to The Firm and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. No to Jurassic Park, Dirty Dancing, Born on the Fourth of July and Batman Forever. She even said no to the cover of Vanity Fair...
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The interior of Flores, which will soon reopen as the Ladies' Gunboat Society
Flores, the Sawtelle restaurant owned by Amal Flores, has been closed for the past couple of weeks to make way for a new chef — Brian Dunsmoor of the Hart and the Hunter. But the chef isn't all that's changing. Today, news comes that the restaurant will reopen as the Ladies' Gunboat Society, serving upscale Southern food. One source tells us the chef is touting the new project as "a cross between Chez Panisse and the deep South."
Also involved in the project is Jonathan Strader, longtime front-of-house manager at Hart and the Hunter. Both Dunsmoor and Strader will retain their positions at Hart and the Hunter as well.
Screenshot of the Southern Foodways Alliance website
The Southern Foodways Alliance's Oral Histories
If you've spent any time planning a trip through the South, your research may have already led you to the Southern Foodways Alliance's treasure trove of oral histories; if not, be prepared to start planning a fantasy trip right about now. The project is part of the organization's mission to celebrate and document Southern food culture, and while the entire collection is worth exploring, maybe start with the most recent interviews featured on the site: That would be terrific talks with Southern women about their work, which, given that "Women at Work" was the theme of its annual symposium this past weekend in Oxford, Mississippi, only seems appropriate.
What makes these profiles particularly great is how these interviews were conducted; between the snippets of audio and the full transcripts, you gain a full, three-dimensional picture of who these women are. This is no small feat, especially considering that too many of these sorts of gender-based projects are reductive and flat, or, to borrow some terminology from Manohla Dargis, can't seem to unlock women from their gender.
Roadside Eats, a new Southern-inspired sandwich shop, will open for lunch today, September 12 at the Arclight complex. It'll join the growing list of restaurant options -- Stella Barra Pizzeria and Veggie Grill, to name some -- conveniently close for hungry movie-goers unsatisfied with just theater popcorn and soda for a meal.
Brought on as chef-partner by owners Ken Kaufman and Brian McKeaney, Dave Northrup
developed a menu that harks back in part to childhood experiences in the South. The fast casual restaurant is somewhat of a departure for the three who previously collaborated on bringing two gastropubs Rush Street and City Tavern to Downtown Culver City.
Disclosure: We have a secret crush on Norman King, author of The Way to Fry. The Southern Living editor has that old school, nerd next door charm. Meaning he looks like he has decades of plaid shirt and button down collar experience (a compliment), not merely a fleeting hipster vintage obsession. And did we mention that the man fries everything? Yes, including pecan pie and sweet tea.
Sure, there is a glossy Southern Living veneer about the recipes, each perfectly scripted with overtly enhanced food stylist shots (a photo of pecan-crusted chicken tenders looks so "done up" it would fit right in at a Southern hair salon). A few recipes call for ingredients long ago banished from our pantry, like self-rising flour (flour, baking powder and salt work just fine), quick-cooking grits (How can one not use fantastic stone-ground grits today?), and banana liqueur, quite possibly the worst flavored liqueur idea ever.
We're going to go out on a limb and suggest that the definition of what constitutes Fresh, Fabulous Recipes for the Modern Southern Cook, as per the book's subtitle, is still a few decades behind the California definition. But we're still going to try that fried Jack (Daniels, of course) and Coke recipe. You know, out of deep fried everything state fair solidarity. Get more, and that fried cocktail recipe, after the jump.
Who couldn't use more health and wealth in 2013? These are the gifts that eating collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day delivers, according to Southern tradition. But where in Los Angeles can you find such rare and exotic menu items?
A few weeks ago, the Southern Foodways Alliance held its annual fall Symposium, and the chefs asked to cook the dinner that kicked off the event were L.A.'s own Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. What's Southern about the chefs behind Animal and Son of a Gun? More than you might imagine.
What is a fried dill pickle chip supposed to taste like? If you have been to The Penguin Drive-In, a circa-1950s roadhouse in the Plaza-Midwood district in Charlotte, N.C., you know there are four steps that elevate this crispy, Southern-style snack food with zero nutritional value to total greatness: The slices of brined cucumber must be immersed in a buttermilk bath (some say the pickle chips must receive a good soaking while others insist they should take only the briefest of dips in a pool of clabbered milk batter); the chips must not hit the deep-fat fryer until the second the server can be heard screeching out your ticket item to the hulking fry cook; the crust must be light, crunchy and almost tempura-like; and, lastly, your order must come with a side of Ranch dressing.
On first read, we didn't believe it ourselves when we decided to include a hybrid cookbook/anthology from an academic publisher, The World in a Skillet, and what boils down to a promotional cookbook from a cast-iron skillet maker, The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, in the same post. But give us a second to make our cornbread case.
The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, compiled and edited by Pam Hoenig, landed on our desk first. We pushed it aside as soon as we saw the "author" is Lodge Manufacturing in Tennessee, a company that has been making cast iron cookware for 116 years and has published numerous cookbooks on the subject over the decades. Sounds like yet another promotional supper.
It's hard to imagine a dreamier -- or perhaps creamier is the better term here -- food pairing than Latin and Southern cuisine. Who wouldn't love a Sunday brunch loaded with empanadas, tamales, fried chicken, corn pudding and both churros and key lime pie for dessert?
In The New Southern-Latino Table, food writer Sandra A. Gutierrez aims to give you the carnitas and BBQ ribs recipes to cook up your own cross-cultural kitchen pairing. In the "Latin" fried chicken recipe, the chicken is soaked in chipotle and cilantro-spiked buttermilk and served with a smoky chipotle ketchup. A collard green-orange salad with buttermilk dressing gets a sprinkling of salted pepitas, and the "Carolina Mexican rice" recipe is a twist Savannah red rice and sopa seca ("dry soup").
A great culinary merger proposition, but one that is tricky to pull off for a diverse American cookbook audience.
When it comes to the complex relationships with our food, there is perhaps none more duplicitous as the one we have with corn. It has been modified, vilified, and of course, deep fried. Still, we eagerly await its arrival every summer and can enjoy it in its various states in dishes from morning to night. And for those in-between times, corn is utilized in snack foods both the heavenly and the devilish.
Corn snacks are eaten throughout the world. Luckily we found the best corn snacks, no matter where they might hail from, utilize this versatile vegetable and grain in each of its states without it ever having to take a trip down an extruder. Turn the page for our favorites from Murakai's MamMoth Bakery, El Carriel, and our home kitchen after a trip to Surfas.
Last night I made my national primetime television debut—which, as a print journalist, are words I specifically went to school to avoid ever having to say. But as much as I've tried to hide behind my bylines, pseudonyms and nom de plumes, it was only a matter of time before...
Popsicles are having a moment in the spotlight, just in time for the next heat wave (otherwise known as our permanent summer). More sophisticated than the classic ice pops bought off your local ice cream truck, this new breed of frozen treats showcases luxurious ingredients (Valrhona chocolate), farmer’s market finds...
The first time you enter Surati Farsan Mart is a potentially overwhelming experience. The place resembles a Jewish deli more than a restaurant, and during peak hours, the line can stretch out the door. The clientele are loud and almost entirely Indian. There are more women dressed in saris than...